MCAS Cherry Point News


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Children gather to meet Santa Claus during the annual 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing band Christmas concert at Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point, N.C., Dec. 4, 2015. Audience members shared laughs and cheers with other members of the community while also getting the opportunity to donate to the Toys for Tots foundation. The 2nd MAW band has held the traditional concert at the air station as a way to bring both the military and local community together to unwind and share in the holiday spirit. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. N.W. Huertas/Released)

Photo by Cpl. N.W. Huertas

2nd MAW band floods theater with holiday cheer

6 Dec 2015 | Cpl. N.W. Huertas 10th Marine Regiment

More than 1,000 voices echoed through the Two Rivers Theater as Marines, Sailors and community members sang along to holiday music at Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point, Dec. 4.

Marines with the 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing Band shared laughs and cheers with the community as they held their annual Christmas concert at the base theater.

“We rehearse for this event up to a month in advance,” said Lance Cpl. Joshua Ochoa, a trumpet player with the 2nd MAW Band. “A lot of hard work and long hours are put into the production of this concert. This is a way that we as musicians can give back to our military and civilian community.”

Audience members of all ages listened to well-known holiday songs as they shared the evening getting into the holiday spirit.

“Events like these give people an opportunity to experience some of the great things the Marine Corps has to offer the community,” explained Gunnery Sgt. Christopher Dwyer, the enlisted conductor with the 2nd MAW Band. “As musicians, we are ambassadors for the Corps and we are constantly out in the public eye. It makes people less hesitant and afraid of the military by knowing the different things the Marine Corps is involved in.”

According to Cpl. Gregory Carlo, an administration specialist with Headquarters and Headquarters Squadron here, the concert is also a way for service members to share in the festivities even when stationed hundreds of miles from friends and family during the holiday season.

“A lot of people do not go home for the holidays and stay at the air station or local area,” said Carlo. “Some of us live on opposite sides of the country and cannot spend holidays with loved ones. It is great to have a way to surround yourself with people who want to celebrate and come together for greater causes."

The concert also provided a collection point for Toys for Tots contributions.

"There are a lot of kids out there who have less than what I did growing up and I think Toys for Tots is a good way for people to remember Christmas is also about giving back to others,” said  Carlo.

“Events like the Christmas concert give Marines a home away from home,” said Carlo. “Service members dedicate 365 days of the year to the vows they have taken to defend their nation. The concert is a way to step back from work and enjoy a moment while being surrounded by positive energy.”

Dwyer agreed, saying, “The Marines here with the 2nd MAW Band are just as excited to perform as the audience members are to hear us perform. We have all had to share holidays away from home and know what it is like to get caught up in our normal lives. The band members put in countless hours to make events such as these memorable and I am very proud of their dedication to our fellow Marines and families.”

Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point